Digital Nomad And Freelancer – What’s The Difference?

Digital Nomad vs Freelancer

We live in a fast-paced world where everything happens quickly. The same goes for technological progress. And this progress contributes to the development of new job titles and positions at companies (but not only at companies). Moreover, if it wasn’t for technology, remote work wouldn’t be possible. Thanks to tools, software, and special technical equipment, we have the possibility to work from anywhere.

This technological (and urbanization) progress contributed to the evolution of work to such an extent that it made it possible for employees to work from anywhere. This, in turn, created freelancers and digital nomads. Even though both types of employment are about working remotely, they are not necessarily the same thing. They may share some similarities, but they are actually two completely different things.

What’s The Difference?

digital nomad

There is one main difference between a digital nomad and a freelancer. And it’s the lifestyle. Johannes Völkner describes digital nomads as working in the following way: “they spend at least a few months of the year abroad, change their destinations frequently (usually every few weeks but can stay up to 6 months), and earn a living while working online”. 

They do not own homes but rent apartments, hotels wherever they are for the best possible price. They pack their bags, tools and equipment, and spend several weeks or months in a given country. Their lifestyle makes it possible for them to work from any place, whether it is America, Europe, or Asia. However, being a digital nomad requires the ability to get well around different cultures and customs.

Freelancing, on the other hand, doesn’t mean that you have to travel. Of course, you can take your work with you if you’re traveling. However, freelancers, when working from home, live in the same place, sometimes for the rest of their life, sometimes they move. But they are more bound to their place and don’t have that much flexibility as digital nomads.

Digital Nomad or A Freelancer, Which Are You?

Both, digital nomad and a freelancer are types of employment which require self-discipline and flexibility. However, being a digital nomad may be more difficult in the beginning and may pose more challenges. After all, not everyone is so eager to travel and work at the same time.

If you are thinking about working as a digital nomad, ask yourself the question, are you are willing to sacrifice stability for the sake of adventures? But you should also consider the following aspects, according to Open Colleges:

  1. Choose your business model – before you begin your work as a digital nomad, you should consider whether you want to work just as a remote employee or have your own business.
  2. Find your clients and/or customers – there are many ways to do that. The best one is to sign up to websites for freelancers and remote workers, such as UpWork, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, etc. Once you gain clients and customers, work will come much easier. Sometimes people can recommend your services to others. There are also websites and online communities for digital nomads where you can also find job offers, for example, NomadList or remoteok.
  3. Pack your bags – once you have point 1 and 2 defined, all you have to do is to pack your bags and start working. However, you should remember about things such as SIM card or eSIM card in order to stay in touch with the world, bank account which accepts all types of payments, insurance, and other aspects of your work and life which may save your life.
  4. Stay motivated – beginnings are always difficult but once you gain customers and experience, you’ll know how to reach your goals.

For the beginning, you may try to work as a freelancer just to see if it’s the type of work you want to do. Eventually, it all comes down to working remotely. Wherever you work as a remote employee, the place you do your job at is your home, even when temporarily.

Digital Nomad And Freelancer – What’s The Difference?

One thought on “Digital Nomad And Freelancer – What’s The Difference?

  1. In Africa, Internet access has for years been a barrier to a real emergence of freelancers, nowadays, the trend has been reversed.
    The progress made by the continent in terms of internet network has resulted in an increase in the number of young African freelancers.

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